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Webinars: Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

ICANN posted on 22 March 2010 a Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs.

Synchronized IDN ccTLDs are described by situations in the Fast Track Process where:

  • IDN ccTLDs are requested in more than one official language or script in a country/territory,

  • the requests for corresponding multiple strings are considered equivalent,

  • delegation would solve a significant problem for Internet users, and

  • users accessing domains under any of the equivalent IDN ccTLDs expect that such domains will resolve to the same address or value.

There are several comments in the still open Public Comment forum for the proposed plan http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201004-en.htm#synch. In addition, several independent observations and requests for clarification have been made by the technical community. In order to address these, ICANN has published a set of Questions & Answers (Q&A) and is conducting two webinars. The webinars will include a presentation of the Proposed Implementation Plan and allow for questions by interested participants.

The webinars will be conducted on Thursday 15 April, 2010 at 01:00 UTC and at 14:00 UTC. The two webinars will contain the same content but are set to facilitate participation across time zones. Registration and more information about webinar participation can be found at the ICANN e-learning site.

Participants should read the Q&A and the Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs prior to the webinar.

The webinars will be recorded and the recordings will be published in the public comment forum for the Proposed Implementation Plan. The public comment period was originally scheduled to end on 13 April, and is now extended through 17 April at 00:00 UTC.


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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."